Rotunda restaurant ready to serve

OWNERS of a rotunda-style restaurant planned for Weston’s seafront celebrated last week, as amendments to their licensing plan were approved by North Somerset Council.

Site co-owners Alistair Mead and Guilio Ellis are looking to open the up-market Italian eatery on the site of the former tourist information office on Weston seafront.

Before the meeting started, Mr Mead and Mr Ellis met representatives from the police to thrash out details of the licence plan.

They included points such as tables and chairs always being laid out on the first and ground floor, with only waiter and waitress service to be used, alcohol only being sold with a table meal after 8pm, no more than one draft of beer sold only in half pint measures, and the establishment using toughened glass.

Members of the council’s sub-licensing panel raised concerns which were previously voiced by the police, on what the establishment’s procedures would be if it attracted large crowds.

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Councillor Felicity Baker said: “What guarantees can you put in place if you have a large party and they sit at tables and chairs, but all they want to do is drink?”

The owners’ solicitor Jeremy Woodcraft said: “There will only be three types of bottled lager and one bottled cider on the menu. If the type of people which you raise concerns about did come here it would just be for one drink because it’s a premium product.

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“It’s going to deter your stag and hen parties. They will go somewhere where they can stand and where they won’t pay the premium.”

The circular two-storey building, which will be an Italian-style ice cream parlour and pizza restaurant, won planning approval from the council in June.

The owners applied to remove a condition limiting them to 20 customers being able to buy alcohol without food, while police previously raised objections in relation to the restaurant’s location in the town centre and its unsuitability as a bar.

Mr Ellis said: “We just want to give people options.”

Also, in response to the concerns by the police involving security, both parties came to the agreement that the establishment will abide by the Pubwatch scheme and when requested by police they will employ door staff.

Mr Ellis said: “I’m really pleased; it’s good for Weston and good for the pier square.”

The Rotunda restaurant could open as early as next spring, and will create up to 40 jobs.

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